Stephen Batkins, owner of an insurance agency in Connecticut, tells of a small booklet he once saw sitting in a Chabad House.
By Stephen Batkins

During the day I am the owner of a risk management/insurance agency in Greenwich, CT. And let me tell you, it’s not easy to study, go to the gym and work.

About 3 years ago I saw a small booklet sitting on a table at my Chabad House and picked it up. This was the first copy of Chayenu and no one really knew what to make of it. No one was publicizing it and so I took it home.

At that time, I was struggling with deciding what to Torah learn and through a previous association with kabbalist Rabbi Leibel Wolf, he suggested a bit of Talmud and that I should add some practical learning.

This little booklet appeared at just the right time as the Rambam section was perfect for that. I was surprised at some of the information in Rambam. There are sections on food, the Temple, relations, sacrifices, death, kings, contracts and just about everything we run into all day long.

I always marveled at the guys who carried around a Dvar Malchus and would learn from it. I could not do that since I really can’t read Hebrew that well.

So today, every morning with my coffee, I sit with my Chayenu and read the day’s sections. Some of it is quite confusing and some is very practical. I do feel a bit like this isn’t enough, compared to the guys who are learning 3 chapters a day, but if you fall behind on a 3 chapter a day schedule, well, that would be hard to catch up on.

I consider this my first pass – just reading through it. Starting the 2nd cycle, I purchased part of the Rambam set so I could have the commentary and notes and I hope that will give me more info for my never-ending learning journey.

Chayenu is distributed around the world, and in prisons around the US.

Learn more and sign up to receive Chayenu at


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